You’ve probably heard all the buzz about search engine optimization (SEO). But it’s confusing, even overwhelming, and you suspect SEO is more appropriate for big businesses, rather than a small or mid-sized company, like yours.

SEO is the process of increasing the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines like Google via natural (“organic”) or unpaid search results as opposed to pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which are paid inclusion.
In the past, businesses attracted potential customers through print advertising, radio, telemarketing, trade shows, direct mail and other outbound marketing strategies.

Today, people start their purchasing process online. They go to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Studies indicate that, 81% of Internet user’s worldwide use search engines. You want to be sure these potential customers find your company when seeking the products and services you offer. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO can position your website at the top of the search engine listings for the keywords in a search query, resulting in increased traffic and ultimately more sales for your business.

Still not sure if you need SEO? Then ask yourself the 10 simple questions below to see if your company and its website could benefit from SEO.

1. Do you want your small or mid-sized business to grow?

More than 80% of online consumers begin their search for a product or service using a search engine like Google. And 81% of internet users worldwide turn to search engines for answers. If you’re a small business that wants to increase sales, you can’t afford to ignore this enormous purchasing audience.

2. Would you like more leads than you’re currently getting from customer referrals?

While word-of-mouth is a great way to grow your business, you’re limiting your referrals to people who hear about you. Just imagine how many more sales you could generate if you were also getting referrals from search engines. A high ranking on Google will bring you a steady flow of new customers who otherwise might never have found your company.

3. Do you want your site to appear at the top of the search engine result pages?

Studies show that 91% of search engine users don’t click past the first page of search results. Do you? Probably not. If you want new customers to find you, your website must appear within the top 10 listings, the higher the better.

4. Do you think your website would receive more traffic if it ranked high, not only for its main keywords, but also long-tail keywords as well?

Your organic ranking on Google is very important. And while it’s crucial that your website ranks high for your main keywords and phrases, there are also more specific terms you could capture that would bring in additional business currently going to your competition.